It’s like a trashy TV show, that we just. can’t. stop. watching. Just when you think Donald Sterling won’t embarrass himself anymore than he already has… he does. And we’re all here to witness it.
During his 1:1 interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, my thoughts were to blog about the top five most horrific moments. Well, 15 awful moments later, I stopped jotting down thoughts. There was NO way I could capture the essence of how despicable the interview was. Nevertheless, I commend Anderson Cooper for his poise and candor.
I’m not sure which part was worse. Perhaps the fact that it took about two weeks for Sterling to even address the issue publicly. Or, maybe it was his apathetic tone, uninterested demeanor, and lack of owning the uncouth comments he made. Wait, no. Could it have been his vague apology to “all people”, instead of the Black people- namely Magic Johnson, whom he most directly offended? *sigh* And that’s not even half of it. I could go in-depth about the beyond inappropriate attacks he made against Magic Johnson’s character, medical condition, and career achievements post-NBA, but that’s another blog post.
I wish he would just stop talking to the media. Let his lawyers and PR reps (if he has any) speak on his behalf. The more the public hears directly from him, the more negatively his image is being perceived.
In an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, Donald’s wife, Shelly Sterling, confidently suggests that her future-ex-husband is suffering from dementia as an explanation of his recorded comments. She also discusses her and Donald’s “estranged” marriage- basically how she has 99 problems, and officially filing for divorce is the remaining one.
Back to the dementia assumption. Plausible? Perhaps so, until after Donald’s fully competent interview on AC360, when Anderson Cooper quotes:
"Well, I spoke with Donald Sterling for more than an hour, as I said. And that certainly doesn’t make me an expert on his mental state, but he did not strike me as someone who is suffering from dementia. Obviously, you need to know somebody for a long time to see early-onset dementia. During the interview, he was very present. If I skipped around on questions, he would sometimes come back to questions I asked so he could finish his answers. Certainly, if he had clear signs of dementia, we would be — it’s not something I would allow an interview to go forward with."
Welp! So much for that. My personal opinion is that she used the prognosis as a tactic. Whether for her own personal benefit, as she does own 50% of the team, so the NBA’s decision will impact her, or in efforts to plead for sympathy on behalf of her husband- I’m not for sure. Either way, it failed.
Now, to add fuel to the already controversial fire, Sterling sends a letter via his lawyer stating that he does not intend to pay the $250M fine and rejects the lifetime ban. The ruling was up for debate? Oh.
Watching ESPN’s First Take with commentators Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, a few key points for consideration were raised. According to the NBA by-laws, Donald Sterling could lose ownership of the Clippers- regardless of the advisory committee’s vote results, if he refuses to pay the fine within 30 days. There was also speculation around whether the audio recording of the conversation between he and V. Stiviano will stand in court. The argument was on the basis of the tape being illegally recorded and leaked. Sterling also has plans to sue the NBA if they don’t rescind his punishment.
What I found most interesting was the alternative perspective that the other 29 owners wouldn’t produce a 3/4’s vote to force a sell. The basis was the fact that there may be skeletons hanging in either of their closets that they don’t want to surface, as Sterling’s has. This may be slightly probable. However, there’s greater pressure for them to vote otherwise.
As for the LA Clippers, though their basketball season ended with Thursday’s loss to the OKC Thunder, their season of drama looks to be far from over. Sterling contends that the other 29 owners fully support him, and will not vote against him.
Now, it’s on the NBA to show up. Will the association stand behind their decision as firmly as they do when other players and coaches violate the established rules and regulations? Or, will “money talk” it’s way out of this predicament? Yes, Donald Sterling uttered his sentiments in, what he thought, was the privacy of his own quarters. However, as Commissioner Adam Silver said, “Whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private, they are now public, and they represent his views.”
And just in case you have enough room in your cup for more “tea”- reports say Shelly Sterling has sued Stiviano, accusing her of extorting millions from her husband.
It’ll be very interesting how things unfold over the days and weeks to come. Yet, two things are for sure: 1) Donald Sterling is not going down without a fight, and 2) we’re all going to be tuning in because we can’t. stop. watching…